As the 2015 general election approaches, a lot of politicians have started strategizing on their next move politically, but while all this is going on, the masses are also calling on these office holders to render the accounts of their stewardship.
Not too long ago,Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State insulted our sensibility by telling us that his people have been pressurizing him to represent them in the senate come 2015. And as a public affairs analyst and also an indigene of Delta State, I was wondering what he has achieved in the past since 2011 till date. Having my research, the only thing I came out with, is insensitivity to the plight of the people he governed.
This a govern who has been accused of looting the treasury of the state through phantom companies without the fear of God
In a petition titled “How Uduaghan Is Mortgaging The Future Of Deltans: a group named Movement For The Protection Of The Rights Of Deltans (MPROD) revealed that they were “constrained as stakeholders to write the petition on behalf of the vast majority of Deltans whose future and children’s future are still been mortgaged by the ‘fraudulent and rogue’ Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.”
The petition was signed by Alanza Moemeke for Delta North, Ogheneovo Onoseme, Delta Central, and Brisbe Benifa for Delta South.
The petitioners alleged that they had expected the governor to focus on administering Delta State, one of Nigeria’s richest states, with the fear of God and for the good of the people after their first petition.
They accused the governor of being “more brazen and audacious in stealing the state’s funds.” The petition stated: “Governor Uduaghan does not seem to care what becomes of the state as long as his selfish motives and ever-expanding appetite for illegal acquisition of state funds are satisfied. In Six years of his administration, Delta State has been continuously raped and violated and left to bleed. Things are now so bad that Deltans have become nostalgic of the Ibori era, with all its atrocities.”
The group further alleged that Mr. Uduaghan had increased his monthly security vote from N600 million to N2 billion with nothing to show for it as the state still witnesses an alarming rate of insecurity.
Uduaghan was of using phantom companies such as DONPARKER, believed to be owned by one Omatsuli Tuoyo, his wife’s younger brother and the governor’s Senior Special Assistant in charge of Special Duties, to siphon state funds.
The petitioners also accused Uduaghan of using another relative, Derin Otubu, to launder money. Otubu is said to be the governor’s blood relation, and a cousin to former Governor James Ibori.
His late father, called Papa Otubu, was the head of the Cherubim and Seraphim in Nigeria. The critics accused the governor of using Alpha Consortium to acquire Ikoyi Hotel in Lagos, which has been renamed Southern Sun.
According to them, Mr. Otubu seconded one Ernest Oji to look after Uduaghan’s financial interest in Southern Sun.
The petitioners alleged that Uduaghan’s government had abandoned the Warri Industrial Park after more than N3 billion was lavished on it. In addition, they stated that the Oleri Leisure Park at Udu, in which the state sunk more than N3 billion, has nothing to show for it, even as the state reportedly continues to pour millions of naira in it.
The petitioners also alleged that Mr. Uduaghan was becoming even more brazen in misappropriating state funds in the build-up to 2015. They said the governor shoved aside the due-process conscious former Commissioner for Finance, Bernard Okumagba, for the more pliable Mr. Okpara, a former contract staff of the World Bank. Contacted over the allegations, the state Commissioner of Information, Chike Ogeah, described them as baseless and without any iota of truth. He said: “Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan is one person I know that has the full interest of Deltans at heart and every now and then I keep telling people that Governor Uduaghan will always be remembered for his visionary leadership.” He said the governor had made an impact through “his giant strides, human capital development and leadership.”
Mr. Ogeah added that Mr. Uduaghan’s achievements could be seen across the three senatorial districts of the state. He then challenged the governor’s critics to go round the state and see the massive development that had taken place while some were ongoing.
We are constrained as stakeholders to write this petition on behalf of the vast majority of Deltans whose future and children’s future have been mortgages by the fraudulent and rogue-Governor of Delta state, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan. The startling and mind-bungling revelations from sources within the ministries of Economic planning, Budget and Finance, is that Uduaghan has received N1.5 trillion in the last five years, yet what we find today in Delta State are virtually abandoned project, kidnapping, stealing , and stories of what the Government intends to do because there is NOTHING on ground to justify this huge financial sums. Interestingly, States like Akwa Ibom , Rivers Edo, Cross River have done very well and have shown leadership and performance.
A State such as Edo that receives far less than Delta has done far better than the rogue Uduaghan. We are constrained to write to YOUR MEDIUM because we are confident that being a medium with the utmost integrity in the media industry in Nigeria and indeed Africa today that has not been compromised by Gov Uduaghan, YOUR MEDIUM will not fold its hand and watch the future of Deltans BEING MORTGAGED by Uduaghan who has stolen the resources of the State blind.
Here are short break-down:
1. 2007- 2012. ( TO DATE) Delta State has received N1.3 Trillion –
– FAAC monthly inflow of not less than N15billion………………
2. IGR(Internally Generated Revenue) in 4 years N100billion
3. funds from Debts
– Commercial Banks………………………….. N50billion
a. First Bank……………….N10billion
b. Zenith Bank………… Over N20billion
c. Others including ……Ecobank,….. Access Bank
……………. FCMB ……………N20billion.
4. CAPITAL MARKET (Delta State Bond) –N50billion
…. It is interesting and fraudulent on the part of Uduaghan that he secured this bond at an all interest of 15% per annum which by implication means that Deltans would be paying N15billion annually as an interest element.
GRAND TOTAL …………………. NI.5 Trillion.
This is what Gov Uduaghan has received in the last five years. So what has he done with all these fund? Nothing. Absolutely NOTHING. In our next expose, we shall reveal the names and identities of those he uses as fronts to ferry Deltans monies away. But for now here are some of the projects he uses as drain-pipes to siphon Deltans monies and mortgaging the future of Deltans:
1. Airport……….. N30BILLION. Over N30billion has been spent on this uncompleted project which is still gulping funds. As at the last release, N1billion was released to ULO and it was quickly diverted. This is in addition to the N7.5billion used to clear an imaginary hill which exposes Uduaghan as an unintelligent man who did no feasibility study before embarking on such a project.
2. proposed purchase of Helicopter……. N7.5billion
3. purchase of diesel to run Street lights……….
4. abandoned Road projects across the state…………
5. IPP Project at Oghara ( Abandoned after wasting over N30billion)
6. New Government House (Abandoned by ULO after sinking billions)
7. Drainage/ Roads (Abandoned …….)
8. Schools (On-going…….. while some have been abandoned)
9. Warri Industrial Business park ( Abandoned after sinking in over N1billion. And his mistress Helen who runs as front for him on the project claimed Uduaghan collected all the monies from her and left her with only N15m to do the job!)
10. Osubi airport Expansion ( Uduaghan wants to waste another N12billion as mobilization here now…….. after abandoning Asaba airport which has not been completed to specification. The governor has come out on several occasion and presented himself as a performer, but he is only deceiving himself, because he surely has a a lot of question to answer when his immunity has expired. You will recall that Gov. Uduaghan played a key role as an accomplice in the looting of Delta State while his cousin, James Ibori held sway.
Documents of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) obtained by biznesswatch.com provide incontrovertible evidence of Uduaghan’s deep involvement and his role as a principal force behind several fraudulent transactions and schemes deployed to fleece the people of Delta State of billions of Naira over a period of about three and a half years he served in various capacities with Ibori as governor.
Contrary to the sponsored denials he has issued in the media, Uduaghan was very powerful and prominent in approving and assigning large sums of monies to Ibori and his fronts, as well as Mr. Uduaghan’s brothers, as the documents which were results on botched investigations by the EFCC shows.
1. Uduaghan’s Control of the Government Purse
As SSG, Uduaghan was the CHIEF ACCOUNTING OFFICER to the James Ibori administration, beginning on June 2, 2003 until he was replaced by Chief Ovie Omo Agege in January 2007. In his statement to the EFCC, Mr. Oghoro Augustine Ede, private secretary to Ibori, described Uduaghan’s position and function as follows:
“The chain of command involving the SSG is such that the SSG is the accounting officer of the Directorate of Government House and Protocol as such my department carries out instructions given by him directly” (Ede, EFCC Statement at p. 29). This statement was corroborated by Ibori’s wife, Theresa, in the course of trial testimony in London on charges of money laundering. In defense of her husband, she categorically stated that Uduaghan was in sole charge of approving the disbursement of funds as well as other matters of state. In effect, Uduaghan frequently acted as governor de facto.
Explaining Uduaghan’s grip on Delta State’s finances, Mr. Charles Isiayei, Accountant to Government House in the Ibori administration, described his duties as accountant to include effecting all payments on the express directive of Uduaghan and the Permanent Secretary to Government House. (Isiayei, EFCC Statement, p. 5). Isiaye further stated that payments directed by Uduaghan include payments in the approval range of N100,000,000 and N250,000.000. These payments were supposedly for “security” activities, such as “Operation Hope.” Interestingly, Uduaghan stated to the EFCC that his power was limited to approval of payments in the maximum range of N1,000,000, a blatant falsehood.
2. Uduaghan’s Piggy-Bank
Uduaghan further stated to the EFCC that application for security funds are made either verbally or in writing, and that payments pursuant to verbal requests were approved by him, and made to youth and community leaders. This is an astonishing admission. For the coffers of state government to be managed in the same manner as a personal piggy-bank is shocking to the conscience. It should therefore come as no surprise that these verbally approved payments were frequently made to notorious and extremely questionable characters, the likes of Ayiri Emami the PDP Chairman for Warri South West Local government Area (who recently threw a lavish birthday party in honor of the imprisoned Ibori and owns a house in the Sugarland area of Houston, Texas; Michael Diden a/k/a “Ejele,” Senior Special Assistant to Uduaghan; and Government Ekpumupolo, a/k/a “Tompolo.”
3. Implicated in the Criminal Trials
In the money laundering trials in London, Uduaghan was named as one of the accomplices of James Ibori. In her closing statement, Sasha Wass, lead prosecuting counsel, stated to the court that Uduaghan facilitated some illicit deals. Wass disclosed to the court that Uduaghan authorized most of the heavily over-inflated contracts that went to one of Ibori’s front companies (Sagicom Ltd). She also told the court that most of the contracts were for N1.8 billion or above, including for the supply of fine wine and beverages. Uduaghan was also alleged by the British prosecutors to have personally used his office as the Secretary to the State Government to authorize payments that were made to Ibori’s sister, Christine. According to the Lead Prosecutor, the payments made included one of UK£69,000 and another of £79,000. Reference was also made to N39 million in cash, which was allegedly delivered to Ibori’s sister in two boxes. The prosecutor said that a company called KOLN was used to transfer funds out of Nigeria for the benefit of Ibori’s sister, and into her account.
4. The Inculpatory Evidence
Statements provided by Charles Isiayei, Ogoro Ede, bank statements and cancelled checks conclusively establish that during his tenure as SSG, Uduaghan approved several cash lodgments running into billions of Naira that were made into the accounts of various “front” companies controlled by Ibori, his cronies and his family, including:
• Koln Nig. Ltd.
• Silhouette Travels
• Prime Chambers
• MER Engineering Ltd.
• Bainenox Ltd., Sagicon
• Onovin, and
These funds were almost entirely drawn from the “Security Votes” of the State. Isiayei specifically asserted that Uduaghan authorized him to disburse money under the disguise of security vote, including one transfer of 950 million Naira during the PDP congress. All these transfers were done over the counter as there was no Bank account for security operations. Many of these payments were effected with the connivance of some Bank officials for example, George Orogun, a manager at Oceanic Bank; he subsequently became Commissioner for Finance in the Uduaghan adminstration.
• Sagicon/Rivbed/Sagaris: Isiahei stated that all payments made to contractors were approved by Uduaghan and the vouchers raised in the SSG’s office. They included payment to Saigicon, owned by Christie Ibie Ibori. (Isiaye, EFCC page 7 – 13). Isiayei further stated that “payments made to Sagicon, Rivbed, and Odoamaka Unuigbo of Sagaris properties (1.8 billion Naira) where my name appeared as depositor of several millions of Naira at different dates. The instruction to effect these payments came from the former SSG who is the present governor of Delta State.” These transactions are tagged security (Isiayei, EFCC Statement, p. 14 also Ede’s, EFCC Statement, p.2)
• Prime Chambers: Although Uduaghan stated in his profile that he was appointed SSG on June 6th 2003, information available to Saharareporters, as well as Uduaghan’s statement to the EFFC show that he was appointed on June 2nd 2003, (Uduaghan’s EFCC Statement, p.169). Prime Chambers, one of the beneficiaries of the billions of Naira cash lodgments is owned by Amos Utuama, Deputy Governor of the State under Uduaghan’s administration and a former Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice during Ibori’s administration. Prime chambers’s account statement indicated that Uduaghan, barely two days after he was appointed SSG, authorized the payment of 90 million Naira to Prime Chambers, which was the largest single payment made to it prior to Uduaghan’s appointment. (EFCC’s Evidence report vol 11, p.10).
• Onovin: The transfer of millions of Naira into the account of Christine Ibie Ibori in HSBC London was on behalf of Onovin Nig. Ltd., a company solely owned by Vincent Uduaghan, a younger brother of former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. Isiaye and Oghoro’s statements to the EFCC indicated that Emmanuel Uduaghan, the former SSG, approved these payments. [See the statements of Charles Isiahe and Oghoro, referenced above.]
Vincent Uduaghan stated that Onovin Nig. Ltd. was awarded a contract by the Delta State Government in December 2004 to lay tartan tracks in Oghara Stadium, for the sum of N142.9 million, and that a total of N77.8 million Naira equivalent from the contract sum was wired to the account of Christine Ibie Ibori, (Chief James Ibori’s sister) held in HSBC, London about the same time (Vincent Uduaghan’s, EFCC Statement p. 188-211).
Statements obtained from Isaihe, Ogoro and Vincent Uduaghan indicate that several monthly lodgments of Delta State Government cheques of five to seven million Naira million were lodged into the bank account of Onovin Nig Ltd., amounting to about N350 million, which Vincent Uduaghan claimed to be payments for the supply of fuel to Government House from Total Nig. Plc. Depot in Benin City, Edo State. These payments were approved by Emmanuel Uduaghan as SSG. Investigations by Sahareporters indicate that Total Nig. Ltd., which equally had the same contract for the supply of fuel to Gvernment House, denied having any dealings with Onovin Nig. Ltd.
The insurmountable evidence provided here confirms that Uduaghan to have been a principal actor in the looting of the treasury of Delta State, and should be prosecuted for his crime pursuant to the provisions of the Criminal Code Act Cap. 77 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990, not rewarded with the opportunity to run for governorship of the state, or permitted to walk around in celebration of electoral, political and economic impunity.
Gov Uduaghan has been a monumental failure in past 7 and half years. Now the chicken has come home to roast. Deltans have resolved to rise up, rescue the state and carry out a resolution akin to Arab Spring in Egypt and Libya where Tyrants and rogues stole their countries blind. It expected in stewardship that a man be found faithful, is this the case of my governor? Let’s till 2015, when the books will be open.
…additional information: saharareporters, biznesswatch.com